After several editions played without supporters the Stade Mohammed V was packed for the 136th playing of the Casablanca Derby featuring defending Botola Pro champions Wydad AC and runners-up Raja CA on Sunday. Wydad emerged victorious in the first meeting this season by a 2-1 score, holding off a furious comeback attempt from the Green Eagles to move into top spot on the Botola Pro table. Aymane El Hassouni and Arsène Zola scored for Wydad and Mohamed Nahiri converted a late penalty kick for Raja.
Raja’s struggles in domestic play this season have been well documented and despite earning their first Botola win earlier this week, the goals have not been arriving easily and Wydad seized the initiative early on. Wydad winger Mohammed Ounajem attempted to run onto a lofted ball into the Raja penalty area but was taken down by a challenge from Raja full back Mahmoud Bentayg, resulting in a penalty kick following a Video Assistant Referee review. Wydad midfielder and spot kick expert Yahya Jabrane, however, was brilliantly denied by a diving Anas Zniti in the Raja goal to keep the match level.
The match remained scoreless when the halftime whistle arrived as the rivals cancelled each other out for a long stretch but Wydad stayed on the offensive in the second half. In the 53rd minute Ounajem collected a pass on the right wing and his cross was deflected into the path of Aymane El Hassouni who finished past Zniti for a goal that was initially ruled offside but given after a VAR review. Raja nearly leveled in the 73rd minute but after Wydad goalkeeper Ahmed Reda Tagnouti was forced out of position to punch a ball clear, center back Houcine Benayada was on the line to head clear a shot from Mohamed Zrida.
It appeared Wydad were off to victory when Zola stretched out to poke in Yahya Attiyat Allah’s free kick service in the 80th minute but a handball led to Nahiri’s penalty kick in the 90th minute. With pyrotechnics and smoke causing multiple delays there was fifteen minutes of stoppage time for Raja to find an equalizer and substitute forward Soufiane Benjdida nearly leveled the match when he turned and fired a bouncing effort just wide from outside the penalty area. Wydad just held off their rivals, who were denied a second penalty kick when a handball from Jabrane was deemed unintentional by the officiating crew.
Highlights from the action filled derby are below along with the matches from Friday and Saturday, both 1-1 draws involving ASFAR and RS Berkane.